My curly kale has caterpillars, lots of caterpillars taking cover.
Our Japanese maple lets squirrels hang from the branches upside down. A funny thing to watch over breakfast.
Every single morning, I make TJ two eggs, overeasy, and do my best to keep the yolks intact. I still eat the no-bake bars and drink bulletproof coffee. The kids eat cereal, muffins, oatmeal, or breakfast cookies. Occasionally I cook bacon or sausage, knowing that this simple sizzling act makes my family very happy.
Lately upon waking, Sailor puts on tights and bathing suit shorts. She asks for a big apple (meaning not cut) and off she goes to find her siblings. She gets called back a little while later to set the table because she loves retrieving the glasses and plates from the dishwasher. She fills each glass from the Berkey and gets the napkins from the drawer and places the muffins on the plates. Sailor loves these jobs.
The boys did not love the job of shoveling rocks in the hot sun, wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow, to create a new layer of ground cover out back, but it was a chance to learn suffering and endurance and character lessons to go along with our Romans 5 memory work. There is plenty of seating now, with benches TJ made and a new table and chair set from Ikea. The sun reflecting from the roof of the firewood stand is almost blinding at certain angles, but I don't mind anything to do with the sun.
I smell not much of anything outside today, but I hear bees if I'm quiet in the garden. I pick lettuce upon lettuce, and still there's more lettuce. I walk to the front yard and finally see some blueberries that are ready, so I pick them while I wait for my figs to ripen. I complete my circuit around the house and there's the lake of glass once more. Now I hear fishermen talking quietly in the cove.
The squirrels chase one another in the Japanese maple, all day long. They climb the nearby palm tree as well, and I wonder if they mind the pokey bark. I remember Penny today, our dog who chased squirrels with a passion. Her stake was in the rocks, and she would pull and bark to get loose.
That's how I feel some days, wanting loose of my responsibilities or loose of my burdens. What is saving me now is knowing that God is not in the ordinary, but He is the ordinary. Tish Harrison Warren's book Liturgy of the Ordinary is teaching me what I wish I had known all along. It is a gift of words and a call to new awareness.
Puttering around the yard, feeling the sun beat down, brushing away the ant that is crawling on my leg, inspecting the kale leaves for caterpillars, getting a jar for Story to collect the caterpillars, sitting at the picnic table to write a letter, listening to someone's radio playing from across the lake at Harbor Town, going inside to cut a mango for a snack, looking out the kitchen window to see if my neighbor's car is home and seeing the mail truck pass by at that exact moment, noticing my mason jar on the table and remembering to drink more water, thinking of the beginning lines of "Nobility," seeing lines in the water right after a boat zooms by, and hoping to ski after dinner tonight...
All of these tiny things I do and feel and see and smell are the ways I taste God today. Tomorrow He may taste different because the squirrels may be in hiding, and the kale may be all harvested, and the rain may keep the fishermen and the boats off the lake. He may taste like somebody being sick or too much wind or tired legs or an empty propane tank right when it's time to grill. He may taste salty like my roasted kale or sweet like my friend Sarah's berry cobbler she brought for dessert. I think He may in fact taste more like that pile of laundry on the love seat than any other mundane thing.
That clothes pile is just so daily, and so determined to show up and wait for me to attend. Dig around, and you'll certainly find the sock in hiding. Dig around, and you'll certainly find God in every place, in every thing.
To be alive and taste God as kale, as caterpillars, as cobbler; as squirrels, as sunshine, as sickness; as the lake, as letters, as laundry.....This is what I hope for, this is all I want.